Road Safety & Your Pet:

November 12th, 2013

Sadly at Petplan we see too many claims for road related accidents. Often when it comes to the road, often pet’s come off second best. With Petplan Pet Insurance you are best placed to help your pet survive, but prevention is always better than a cure. In recognition of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (November 17th) Petplan is putting the spotlight on road safety and your pet.

Fencing

For your dog the very best protection from road accidents is a fence, unfortunately it is not that simple for your cat. For your dog it is important that the fencing is secure from break outs and break ins. If your gate is left open by a guest, then your dog may well make a run for it. Best to ensure that fencing is high enough to withstand a jumping dog, and that gates are lockable, so that someone is unaware of your home doesn’t have the option to leave the gate open.

For cat’s you may want to consider keeping your cat indoors or providing them with an outdoor cat run, so that they cannot possibly get outside. Many local authorities have restrictions on when you can let your cat out to roam, and there is a growing trend to leave cats behind doors and cat netting all the time. Cat runs can be large, and can often be very exciting for the cat (after to add some plants, places to sleep and some toys), so don’t be concerned that your cat will get bored.

Out for walks

Your dog, no matter the breed or age, will love being walked. Even older and less able dogs love being out, even if the distance isn’t as long. However you need to be sure that your lead fits and that you are able to control your dog with it. Depending on the type of dog you have, their behaviour and their strength you may need a harness, or perhaps a muzzle. Don’t be concerns on how you will look walking a dog all kitted up, when you are out for a walk – your main concern is that your dog and yourself have a good walk and return home safely. Make sure that you walk on the kerbside and your dog walks away from the traffic, as a loud car can distract them.

Many off leash areas are not entirely fences, so approach these situations carefully and slowly. Make sure that your dog is only off their leash when it is safe; away from traffic and you know they will return when called. You can do this by testing their recall slowly over time, and rewarding good behaviour.

Not many people walk their cats, although there is a growing trend towards it. Be wary that your cat may be frightened of traffic and when spooked a cat may run onto the road or away from you. Even though you may think that your cat isn’t as strong as you, be mindful that their claws will do most of the fighting!

Travelling in cars

Taking your pet on a drive or on a trip can be rewarding and fun for the whole group. However because your pet may be far from home, and the travel poses its own risks, you need to prepare the car and the plan to ensure their safety. Make sure that your pet cannot jump out of a window, particularly when the vehicle is moving. Make sure that your pet is stabilised and calm when you begin driving. This is mainly because their distraction will distract the driver. Ensuring that your pet is secure, ideally using a harness, cage or barrier, will help if you are in a collision, when an animal could become a projectile missile. When you stop your vehicle, double check that your pet is secure before opening the doors, as pets have a tendency to run out of cars in this situation. When travelling, ensuring that you animal are well feed and well hydrated is of particular concern, as is plenty of toilet stops.

This Blog was written by the furry family at Petplan Pet Insurance & Petplan Equine Australia. We love pets and  people who love pets! We offer pet Insurance for Dogs, Cats, Horses & Ponies (including third party liability; horse floats, saddlery & tack). We specialise in ‘covered for life’ dog insurance, cat insurance and equine insurance. Please visit us on facebook or on our website.

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